Mandolin Questions

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by jzone, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. jzone


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    Howdy. I just received a chefs Mandolin for a birthday present. I love the fact it is fully adjustable, has multiple juliening blades etc. The problem is I think my technique needs work and I'm not sure what to change :)

    Where the problem starts is I had a cheapish plastic one that had blades meeting in a v shape. This one worked really well and never had any problems except getting dull and wearing out. usually a lifespan of 2 to 3 years.

    the difference I find between the two is that my new one (single straight blade) seems to catch lots of "smegglies" from whatever I am slicing and it builds up quickly in the blade of the mandolin and I seem to have to clear it out ever 30 seconds or so. Worse when using the juliene blades but still happens with the straight blade.

    I have heard there is a bit of a learning curve, but that chefs swear by these once they figure them out. Having never been to school or even working in a restaurant I don't have anyone to show me how to work the darned thing properly.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. ara gureghian

    ara gureghian

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    I understand what you are saying... the technic if I can express it is...
    have to move that hand very fast with a firmer slightly downward pressure as each time the "item" gets near the blade and release that pressure in the upward motion... once the rythm gets going you won't even look at the blade anymore... with experience also, as your fingers gets closer to the blade there will be a feeling in the extremities that will stop you, as using any kind of a guide is a loss of feelings and control... Don't laugh... that is what I feel... just as cleaning the circular blade on a slicer with all the guards off and the machine running with a wet cloth... my fingers can feel the danger if that is what I can call it... and extra sense of awareness that doubles your attention... same with a mandolin... and no... I have never sliced my fingers!
    Hope this helps... once you get that rythm you will ove it... start with softer vegies and finally maybe some carrots...
    Hope this helps a bit...
    Be well...
  3. ricib


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    I agree with almost everything Ara said.

    Except I've come away a few times with 3-4 slices on my finger tips here and there.

    I never really ahd much experience with them before the last restaurant, but then my daily job became making shoestring potatos. When I went in, I knew that was one of three main jobs I had each day, so I got to be pretty proficient with it. It doesn't take much learning curve, just a bit.

    The guides/guards are pretty useless as was pointed out. If you don't know when to stop on your own, a guard isn't going to help you out much either.
  4. redace1960


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    i'm a home cook in the middle of 'putting up'. i wear a clean leather work glove on my business hand when i use the mandoline because after awhile, you're gonna miss. it WILL happen, and it'll bleed like a @#$%^&*! since the cut will be so smooth. unfortunately the others are right...nothing works better than the human hand for grasping as not all veggies are created equal. as for the crud collecting in the corners; that happens. its from unevenness of pressure on the veg-just about unavoidable on the mushier ones. you get either the crud in the corner or an 'earflap' on the far edge of the veg. thats your snack!